The planning is done, the training is over, the big day for Team GB Para Olympians has arrived. The 2016 Para Olympic Games starts with the opening ceremony on Wednesday 7th September, and from Thursday 8th dreams will be realised or not, one thing is certain every single athlete will give of their best. Their exploits will enthral many of us and their pride will shine out from every newspaper and TV interview throughout the land and beyond. Bring it on!
Local athlete going for a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal is Durham University Law student and wheel chair fencing star Gemma Collis. We hope she has a golden smile on her return.
Durham Magazine is happy to give a mention to all local Para Olympians competing at the Rio Para Olympics, please contact me through the Forum on the Durham Magazine web site to inform us of any known to you and we will give them a mention and wish the success.
One does not like to separate out able bodied and less able bodied athletes as to this individual they are all supreme athletes. But, they are athletes who have broken a mould. Every one of the people attending Rio has striven to overcome some disadvantage that would stop most people from participating in any sport at all. True endeavour is a lesson to us all, as is sheer grit and toughness of mind. However, should the Para Olympians impress just one young less able person to give it a go, the Games will have achieved a great leap forward. If the Games motivate many young, and not so young, less able people to participate in a sporting activity then a much larger leap forward will have been made. If it moves Governments and their contemporary Societies to identify with less able people so that they try harder to help people in need then maybe the World will become a nicer place?
Best wishes to all Paraolympians in the two weeks to come.